The Banghoek (meaning “scary corner”) valley is located over the Hellshoogte pass and an area in which I will own an estate one day. The picture for this striated sky was taken on the Oldenburg wine estate (in the Banghoek Valley) looking up at the Drakenstein Mountain Range. Banghoek Valley, got its name due to the dense forest, leopards, steep ravines and other dangers encountered by settlers.
Hellshoogte is the oldest pass in South Africa. The original Pass was built in 1692, in order to make ones way to Franschoek (where the Huguenots settled after arriving in 1688). It was the main road to Franschhoek and for many years was regarded as a dangerous route, especially in the dark. The origins of the name is likely from the steep gullies (“hells”) on the ridge. In 1854 the road was greatly improved and used until being replaced by the new/current road in 1972.
A left turn off the R310 onto Zevenrivieren road will put the Mountains in front of you, the road winds and becomes gravel. The road is well sign posted and finding Oldenburg estate is a cinch. On arrival you are greeted by the spectacular new Cellar Door. The building was designed by architect Simon Beerstecher, and the interior design is by Kelly Hoppen.
Oldenburg is owned and run by Adrian and Vanessa Vanderspuy. Adrian was born on the neighbouring farm but his family left South Africa in the 1960’s. He would return to visit Oldenburg yearly for Christmas. Dorothy Vanrenen, Adrians grandmother, lived at Oldenburg with Helmet Holmann. In fact it is Helmet who named the farm Oldenburg in memory of his German roots in the city of Oldenburg. Visit the Oldenburg Vineyards Website for more history.
It was in 2002 that Adrian decided to pursue the possibility of bringing Oldenburg Vineyards back to life given that the farm had fallen into a parlous state. The vineyards were replanted from 2004-2006 and the maiden vintages of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were produced in 2007. In 2010 the first whites were produced, the reds were launched (all were included in the SA Top 100 wines) and in 2011 the cellar door opened. In 2014 Philip Costandius joined as General Manager and Winemaker, later that year The Homestead was opened.
Visit the Oldenburg Vineyards Website to find out more about this amazing place and the people who make it happen or go one step better and visit them in person, you will not regret it. The views are amazing, the wine terrific and the atmosphere spectacular. As I said at the beginning, one day I will own a property in this valley.
I have to end off this blog by saying Thanks to all the peole who have followed me and my 52 Striated Skies Project. My next big step is going to be figuring out how I can exhibit this in 2016. Here is to an awesome 2016!!!
When you start your day with an early morning meeting in Cape Town and you have to travel down the N1 to get there. When you hate sitting in traffic and therefore leave before sunrise to miss it. These were prerequisites for the photo that inspired this early morning coffee picture. I am not a fan of traffic and given that at the V&A there is a 24hr McDonalds you can have a cup of coffee before your meeting, prepare and look at the amazing view.
The view includes the construction of the Zeitz MOCAA. I have spoken about this in a previous blog, although looking back I did not write much about it. I remember that it was because there is not that much information freely available on the net. There is an update on the Siloblog, which gives some pictures and a completion date of the end of 2016. Until the museum opens, the Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion is open with free admission. The pavillion can be found near Bascule Bridge at the V&A and is open from 12 – 8 PM, every Wednesday to Sunday.
The museum is going to provide a cultural boost to the area which should have a positive effect economically for the CBD. The development in this part of the V&A are providing a link to the CBD.
Do not wait until 2016 to visit Cape Town for this awesome new museum, come to Cape Town this Summer and then again next year. I can tell you right now that there is more than enough to do here and it would take years of trips to get it all done.
The 20th Striated Sky for 2015 is taken at the N1/N2 merge as you enter Cape Town City Bowl. The highway system in the city is a contentious issue with people rallying to have the highways removed especially given that there are incomplete portions that tower over the foreshore. The large concrete elevated highway may be seen as an eyesore but in this piece there is a beauty in the structure versus the mountain. The argument is that the highway cuts off the city from the foreshore although the large buildings right next to the highway do this. I feel that the highway needs to stay and that the city and business need to work together to make the area around and below the highway a more user friendly space…. and not a parking garage (although Cape Town does need more parking space).
I have launched a 52 Striated Skies Facebook page in order to spread the awareness of the 52 Striated Skies Project. I urge you to take a look at the page and if you like what I am doing that you like the page and share it with your friends and family.
The goal of the 52 Striated skies Project is to exhibit the project in early 2016 in Cape Town. In conjunction with the exhibition I hope to sell the original canvas prints as well as a limited number of archival poster prints. I am going to need the help of all the people who enjoy my work in order to get to this goal.
Thank you to everyone who has liked my blog and posts over the first 14 pieces and I hope to grow the following even further.
This piece started as a photograph taken while sitting in traffic on my way home from work near the Cape Town International Airport. It is called Matroosfontein as that is where my Phone said we were. It shows more of the gritty side of Cape Town, a City with a wide variety of everything, good and bad.